What should I watch for?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You will need to have regular blood checks. Some patients with cutaneous T cell lymphoma saw improvement within the first several weeks of treatment. Most patients required several months or more of treatment to improve.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. If you are capable of becoming pregnant, you must have a pregnancy test within one week before you start therapy and monthly while you are taking this medicine to confirm you are not pregnant. Women must use effective birth control continuously starting one month prior to beginning this medicine and until one month after you stop taking it. It is recommended that you use 2 reliable forms of birth control together. Because this drug may decrease the effect of hormonal birth control, one of the forms of birth control should be non-hormonal. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.
Men, with a partner who is pregnant or who is capable of becoming pregnant, use a condom during sexual activity while taking this medicine and for 1 month after stopping this medicine.
This medicine can greatly increase blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. Your health care professional will monitor these levels and, if they increase, you may require treatment.
This medicine can cause an underactive thyroid and regular blood checks will be needed to detect this. Medicines to control this condition may be necessary.
Avoid eating large amounts of grapefruit or drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice while taking this medicine. Grapefruit may increase the levels of this medicine in your body and may cause an increase in side effects.
This medicine is a form of vitamin A and too much vitamin A can cause many side effects. Do not take more that the recommended daily dietary allowance of vitamin A (4000 to 5000 international units). If you take vitamins, check the label to see how much vitamin A they contain. If you are not sure, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
Common and Rare Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Since this medication is given in varying doses, the actual frequency of side effects may vary. In general, side effects are less common with lower doses than with higher doses.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Unusual tiredness or weakness
skin rash or other skin and mucous membrane lesions
increase in lipid or cholesterol levels
coldness, dry, puffy skin or weight gain
swelling of the arms, feet, hands, or legs
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.